Bontrager XDX tyres review

Comfortable and predictable rubber

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Bontrager’s massive new tyre adds floated comfort and predictable drift, but the vast carcass means you need at least a 28mm rim to keep it stable, and it's too wide to fit in a lot of bikes.

All this air space gives it a remarkable amount of cushioning against impact punctures or general trail discomfort. You also get 29er-style rollover on rocks and roots.

A tight, tubeless-ready bead means you can run it soft with a tube or sealant for extra ground-moulding grip from the dual compound mixture.

It clears fast and there’s lots of rubber on the trail, so grip isn’t bad either, although it’s definitely a drifter rather than a directional tyre. It will tear apart if you skid too much though.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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